Our previous roommate owned a slender bookcase that extended from floor to ceiling. We ended up laying the bookcase lengthwise on the floor when we needed a T.V. stand and extra book storage in the living room. Ever since, we've really appreciated low storage furniture.
The altered bookcase was a perfect fit for our small living room. It didn't block any windows and kept the space feeling open and airy. We also like low storage pieces for dividing off a section of a large room while still allowing the space to flow. Placing a low storage piece in the entryway or hallway further accentuates the long lines of the area (and doubles as a spot for landing strip items). We especially like the use of a low storage piece for propping up artwork--a great idea for renters that can't drill holes.
(Images: 1. Lea Ceramiche 2. Inside Out: Sarah and Jim's Architecturally Infused Nest)